Verb: Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result, esp. in one's job; do work.Noun: Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.
We are made for it; work. Even before sin entered the world man was given work. All of us work at something; a job, keeping home, growing things, making things...our education. Work needs action to be executed correctly; it needs initiative and dedication. No one learned to spell words or form sentences without initiative and dedication; it took work.
As parents, a desire of our heart was to train up our family with a sense of work; a good work ethic. My babies were nearby me as I went about my work; dishes and laundry were a common sight to them. Growing lent them desire to 'help' and they did; passing the shirt to be folded, "rinsing" dishes as they were washed, picking up a toy to put in the basket. Work came natural; it was just part of a day.
Our children grew older and their work expanded: setting the table, sorting laundry, wipe the counter, put away their things. House work (chores) were daily and routine. If someone became ill, or I was tied up with a need, the older ones lent a hand and shared in things. Cooking peanut butter sandwiches for an evening meal is fine if made by a young child while mommy is cleaning up after a sick sibling. Being faithful in the small areas of life built trust to be given bigger things.
Transitioning from child to youth has brought its challenges along with greater responsibilities. Older children took on farm chores, raised animals for production and show, became 'mother's helpers' to families from our church. Our youth eagerly volunteer, care for a family member, cook or grocery shop, baby sit...all bigger steps from simple home chores.
With a work ethic developing it will also meet challenges. Sometimes we don't 'feel like it' or we have been gone from home and upon returning just don't 'have the energy'. This doesn't negate the responsibility so a solution must be found. You could ask someone else to do it, neglect it all together, see if someone is willing to assist if the job is time consuming, or just get it done.
I remind my teens that asking for a stand if for your chores should be a limited thing and you should be willing to repay the favor. If you neglect it all together, your trustworthiness is put on the line and sooner or later consequences will follow. Working together does get the job done faster, most of the time, but again, be sensitive to the fact that person has work of their own to do and may be just as tired. Generally, the best bet is just get it done and go from there.
It isn't always that easy. Currently we have teens in college and working part time outside the home; schedules collide with daily chores...getting things done is getting harder to do. Still, there must be a sense of work; after all, we adults still have to get it done. What is the key to making things work?
I am no authority, but I am learning. First step is communication. We keep a family calendar in the kitchen and ask each family member to mark their schedules and keep it up to date. From here, chores are determined by who is home at the time a chores needs done. Second step is consideration. If you can lend a hand, lend it; be considerate of others' feelings and needs.
With our teens' ages more and more is falling on the shoulders of mom and dad; it's normal, I know. So when they are home it is a blessing to see hands join together to fill water troughs or cook a meal, after all, many hands make light work. So whether the job is just unpleasant, untimely, or one that just has to be done, whether it's a labor of love, a pleasant task, one that is done in compassion for another...it's still work, and being ordained by our Lord, it is a Scaife family value.